Sheffield entertainment trio maintained marketing activities during the lockdown, securing the future of hospitality in Owlerton, post-lockdown. Here, Sheffield marketing agency fenti shares how they leveraged their online presence to great effect.
Three of Sheffield’s best-loved hospitality venues, owned by A&S Leisure used digital marketing throughout lockdown despite their three venues being closed, with Sheffield marketing agency fenti. The objective was to sustain engagement with customers during the Pandemic.
Owlerton Stadium greyhound racetrack, the OEC events venue, and Napoleons Casino, all located in Owlerton, Sheffield, suffered a heart-breaking setback in 2020 when all three venues were forced to close as part of the UK lockdown.
Linda Clark, Director of A&S Leisure said:
It was hard for the team to close the doors on our three venues,
Owlerton Stadium has the most loyal staff and customers you can imagine, a popular night out for Sheffielder’s and sports fans alike. The recently constructed OEC opened its doors for the first time only four months before lockdown, and Napoleons staff are such a friendly, talented and dedicated team; you can imagine the anguish we felt in March last year.
A&S Leisure recognized that halting all communication with customers could have a devastating effect on each venue’s long-term sustainability. The importance of staying in touch with customers through email, social media, and digital screens located throughout Sheffield, became a vital part of maintaining engagement throughout lockdown.
Elaine Shipley, Creative Director at fenti said:
I have worked with A&S Leisure for 15 years overall, with fenti working as the marketing department for their three venues over the last 4 years. When lockdown hit, the marketing strategy shifted to purely digital. Keeping in touch with customers throughout lockdown made a significant difference. Bookings have remained strong since March 2020, so each venue hit the ground running when they reopened earlier this summer.
With global marketing budgets down 11% from 2020 – now equating to just 6.4% of overall company revenue – many businesses essentially ‘switched off’ their marketing activities. There is a reluctance, in some of the worst-hit sectors, to return to pre-pandemic marketing spend.
Brands selling goods and services online, however, capitalized on the need to stay at home, reallocating large proportions of their budget to social media advertising. Facebook ad revenue figures released during early 2021 confirmed the social media giant enjoyed a 48% revenue increase since early 2020, earning a whopping £18.7bn.
With over 48 million Facebook users in the UK, the social media platform is integral to connecting with audiences. Facebook has played a huge part in increasing audience engagement during lockdown for Owlerton Stadium, OEC, and Napoleons.
Elaine Shipley, fenti said:
Part of fenti’s service to A&S Leisure is managing their social media platforms, creating visual and written content, posting updates every day. Competitions have been hugely rewarding – a bit of fun and something to look forward to for everyone stuck at home. The response has been phenomenal.
Father’s Day at Owlerton Stadium is a prime example of how engagement is pivotal in social media marketing. The Stadium was delighted to be able to reopen for Father’s Day in June this year, albeit planning an event with restricted capacity amid nationwide uncertainty was tricky, to say the least. A social media campaign was launched as soon as hospitality venues were confident they could reopen.
Father’s Day was a resounding success, requiring capacity across both Owlerton Stadium’s restaurant and the OEC events venue next door, with the event completely sold out over a month in advance.
Back to Business
Despite each venue being closed for over a year, the entertainment trio maintained strong engagement with their respective audiences, with strong post-lockdown bookings and footfall across the three venues.
Matthew Hamilton, Venue Director, Owlerton Stadium said:
The Pandemic has demonstrated a strong desire from our customers to support their favourite entertainment venues. There was a concern that pent-up demand could quickly fade once everyone had made up for lost time. That really hasn’t been the case, our VIP Hospitality Boxes, for instance, are booked up for months.
Traffic from Facebook to each of the venue websites soared from March 2020 to 2021, with membership applications increased for Napoleons Casino. In addition to healthy and consistent bookings throughout the Pandemic, the OEC started using the venue for Blood Donor sessions during the lockdown, which are planned to continue for as long as the venue is required by the NHS.
Rebecca Toner, Conference and Events Sales Manager, OEC Sheffield said:
We couldn’t be happier. We’re back to business and doing what we love. Working with fenti, as our marketing team, has helped maintain interest in everything our venues offer, with personality people resonate with. Social media worked wonders for our bookings, and fenti managed to keep them coming in for over a year, even though we were closed.
Known as the straight-talking agency, fenti offer a full marketing service from Google Ads to web development, meaning your brand is in safe hands. For more information, get in contact with fenti here.
fenti is a cross-media digital marketing agency in Sheffield. They nurture and protect your brand at every customer touchpoint. fenti’s purpose is to create.